Carteret County BWI Lawyers

Boating While Intoxicated Laws in North Carolina

North Carolina has specific laws for operating a motorboat or vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These boating under the influence (BUI) laws also address water skis, surfboards, and nonmotorized vessels (sailboats, paddleboats).

As such, an individual can face BUI charges if they:

  • operate a vessel while under the influence of an impairing substance; or
  • have an alcohol concentration of .08% or more at any time while boating.

At Cummings & Kennedy Law Firm, PLLC, we take all our clients’ cases very seriously. Attorney Joe Kennedy has more than 14 years of experience as a former prosecutor and criminal defender. As a result, he has both the skills and relationships necessary to defend you against your boating under the influence charge – Attorney Kennedy can strategize a defense in anticipation of the prosecution’s case and put his prosecutorial relationships to use. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony BUI in Carteret County, our firm can defend you steadfastly. 

Give us a call at (252) 518-4330 or contact us online to get started.

What are the Penalties for BUI in North Carolina?

In general, North Carolina charges BUIs as Class 2 misdemeanors punishable by $250-$1,000 in fines and up to 60 days in jail. Judges more commonly may sentence offenders to supervised or unsupervised probation and order a fine.

In the presence of the following aggravating factors, the offender could face enhanced penalties:

  • Serious injury by impaired boating – Class F felony punishable by 10-41 months in prison
  • Aggravated serious injury by impaired boating (with prior conviction within 7 years) – Class E felony that carries 15-63 months in prison
  • Death by impaired boating – Class D felony that carries 38-160 months in prison
  • Aggravated death by impaired boating (with prior conviction within 7 years) – aggravated Class D felony that carries 64-160 months in prison
  • Repeat offense for death by impaired boating – Class B2 felony that carries 94-393 months in prison

Contact Cummings & Kennedy Law Firm, PLLC for Legal Help

If you have been charged with boating under the influence in Carteret County, contact our team at Cummings & Kennedy Law Firm, PLLC for legal representation immediately. Our attorneys are well-versed in BUI law and will put our years of experience to work as we defend you against your charges. We can argue for a mitigation of aggravated charges or even an entire dismissal of your case, if possible.

Discuss your BUI situation with Cummings & Kennedy Law Firm, PLLC to learn what your specific defense options are. Call us at (252) 518-4330 or contact us online.


  • “When I met with other big attorneys in the area, they acted like they could care less, when I met with Mr. Kennedy, he listened intently, didn't rush me, and then seemed genuinely concerned about what my son was facing.”
  • “I highly recommend Cummings & Kennedy Law!”
  • “I would advise everyone who wants to fill comfortable, safe, and at ease during the whole process of their situation to retain Joe and his staff! You will witness the professionalism from the beginning to the end and will be knowledgeable during the whole ”
  • “Mr Kennedy was extremely helpful, very easy to talk to, and made things as easy as possible for me. His prices are very fair for the amount of work and effort he puts in for his clients. I highly recommend his services!
  • “Everyone I spoke to was extremely helpful and put my mind at ease.”

Contact Cummings & Kennedy Law Firm

  • In-House Medical Advisor & Investigator
  • Strong Relationships with Local Judges & Prosecutors
  • Thousands of Cases Successfully Handled
  • Continuous Generations of Attorneys Since 1995

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